BlackBerry considering real estate sales -newspaper


TORONTO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Struggling Canadian smartphonemaker BlackBerry Ltd may sell some of its real estate toraise money, the Globe and Mail newspaper said on Wednesday.

Citing sources it did not identify, the Globe saidBlackBerry had asked real estate companies to "outline ideas togenerate the largest possible return in as little time aspossible."

The company is considering selling some properties andleasing back space, as well as other options, the Globe said.

BlackBerry, which has lost market share to Apple Inc's iPhone and phones that run Google Inc's Android operating system, said last month that it planned toshed 4,500 jobs, more than a third of its workforce.

A statement from BlackBerry quoted in the article said thecompany was cutting costs and that efforts included "optimizing"space.

BlackBerry has signed a tentative $9-a-share agreement to beacquired and taken private by a consortium led by FairfaxFinancial Holdings Ltd, but its stock has languishedwell below the offer price, a sign investors are skeptical thedeal will succeed.

The proceeds of any real estate sale may make BlackBerry amore attractive target for potential acquirers. But any suchbuyers, including Fairfax, may simply be looking for detailedestimates of the value of the assets.

The company could not immediately be reached for commentearly on Wednesday.

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